Life after the Navy: On canvas


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

former Naval Reservist is rendering a new life in Japan.

From his well-lit windowed studio on the second floor of his home in Numazu, Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Anthony Dunphy dabs his brush into acrylic paint and strokes the canvas.

The 60-year-old Newfoundlander is at work on his latest creation that will soon join others to be sold on his website Money, while needed to pay the bills, is not his motivation. Rather, he says, it is from a desire to “make people from all over the world smile.”

“My finished works are filled with light and vibrant colours to reflect my personal view of the world. Painting is relaxing, interesting, calming, and a great way for me to feel accomplishment. Joy is found in every part of my experience and I hope that feeling is conveyed through my art.”

He is self-taught, fine tuning his skills with the aid of YouTube videos. He has amassed a sizeable collection over 10 years on varying subjects.

“Many people paint only one thing and become experts in fields such as seascapes; I paint whatever strikes me at the moment,” he said. “I love painting the sea and its many moods, as well as the ships and seaman that work upon it, but I also love painting classic cars, the faces of musicians like Miles Davis and James Brown, and sports like hockey, which I often played while growing up in St. John’s.”

His passion for hockey is best exhibited in Fighting For the Puck. It depicts players vying for on-ice supremacy in an old-fashioned game of shinny on a frozen pond somewhere in Canada.

But the appeal of his art extends well beyond Canada. A recent portrayal of jazz great Dizzy Gillespie made its way onto the CD jacket of Los Angeles-based Salsa band the Echo Park Project.

Ideas are mostly borne from still photographs taken with an eye for a future painting.

“On average I use photos for 10 or 20 per cent of the painting, the other 80 to 90 per cent is imagination.”

Japan became home in 1998 when he left the naval reserves after 21 years of service and secured employment with the Tokyo Center for Language and Culture. He specializes in seminars and lectures on Western business culture and language to Japanese business people being transferred overseas for work.

On the flipside, his art has been influenced by the Asian country.

“Moving to Japan has given me a whole new appreciation for art,” said Dunphy. “Japanese art tends to be two dimensional and monotone but their architecture is amazing, as is the horticulture. Art is an integral part of life here and is appreciated much more so than many other places.”

Over the years he has sold close to 70 paintings through his website, providing him with a “passive income” outside of his work.

“When a customer contacts me to ask about a piece it is very exciting because they see value in my ideas and want to share it in their home. This is humbling, something I have created will be a part of other people’s lives and conscientiousness, in homes from Nashville, Tennessee, to London, England, as well as Glasgow, Rome, Switzerland, Hong Kong and many other places around the world where my paintings now reside.”

To view more of Dunphy’s artwork in detail, visit

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